Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Age

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Ever since the digital age began intellectual property rights started to become more and more difficult to determine over time. Let along the fact that intellectual property rights were already difficult to handle in the first place before the digital age. To explain further I’ll first go into the features of an intellectual property and what it consists of. Firstly being, it is a form of intangible property. Which means it is something that you can you physically obtain. It is sort of a legal/written form of property. The second feature of it is that its existence is distinct from the physical articles or goods which contain the rights. Which means the rights are not tied to those physical items per say but the actual intellectual portion of it which are the legal terms. The third feature being, in some cases the rights are capable of existence and enforcement with no tangible form. And the fourth feature being, the various rights might subsist in the same things. For example, a document might be subject to patent, design rights and trademarks. A pictorial trademark might also be subject to copyright. Those four features are considered to be the core features of an intellectual property in the digital age.

When it comes to the types of intellectual properties in the digital age. There are five main types. And these will be listed in the order of power/importance that they hold. They are patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and the right of publicity. And I will break down each one and how they link back to how they are handled in the digital age.

Starting with trade secrets, we see that these hold great importance on a personal level when working within a company. Trade secrets are considered to be very valuable to any company, and not just for the trade secret itself, but for all the aspects that connect back to it. There are two main parts that make up a trade secret. The first part being is that a trade secret must be unique and proprietary and give one company an edge over another company’s product or process. It must also be a secret which is self-explanatory. The second part of it is that a company must do its best to protect the trade secret. Trade secrets must be protected to the best ability of the company or individual that owns the secret. And if that zip is ever threatened, the IP must be defended, or it will be lost.

The second type of intellectual property is a patent. While it is similar to a trade secret, it is also different at the same time. Like a trade secret is comprised of two parts. The first part being a patent gives the right for the patent holder, and only the patent holder, to manufacture their product for a period of 20 years; once that time period ends anyone has the ability to go and create said product. The second part being when patents are filed, they must include the inventor’s detailed plans and be made publicly accessible. So that way it is visible for everyone’s record.

The third type of intellectual property is a copyright. A copyright is the one legitimate insurance that is promptly offered to the maker once their work is in a substantial form. While a copyright is naturally allowed to a work like a book or program, it is up to the maker to guard their work. Copyrights don't need to be enlisted, however it is prescribed, particularly if the proprietor of the work will ever need to record a claim for it.

The fourth type of intellectual property is the right of publicity. Which in common terms is often know as personality rights. It is right of a person to control the business utilization of his or her name, picture, similarity, or different parts of one's character.

The fifth and final type of intellectual property is a trade mark. In order for something to become a trademark, it must be both utilized in business and it should likewise be unmistakable. When it's acknowledged as a trademark, the proprietor has selective rights to it.

When determining the rights of an intellectual property you have to look at the value of said property in order to properly determine its rights. For instance, most successful companies understand the inherent and actual value of the IP they’ve identified. In any case, there is another element who esteems that IP for various reasons. Countries inducing the United States don’t just have IP laws to protect their makes, but to also protect their creativity.

When you look at and determine al of the types of intellectual property and laws, you then also have to determine who would be after your property and the reasoning behind said attack. Who is after you IP? 70% Individuals / Small Groups, 20% Criminal Organizations, 5% Cyber Terrorists, 4% State Sponsored, and 1% “Hacktivists.” (Easy Prey) Hackers/programmers can have diverse inspirations. A few, known as hacktivists, trust in social equity causes and can pool together people and assets to assault targets. Others attempt to hack into targets in order to see if they have the ability to do so.

We come to the conclusion of how does one or a group protect their intellectual property? One thing that is recommended is that companies can attempt not to file patents. When it is not on file it is not known as much to the public. Another thing that can be done is that a company can attempt to safeguard their data with proper access control. What you would do is Store any and all company data in secure locations. That would not be known to the public. And a final thing that could be done on a smaller level is to avoid joint ownership in the creative process. When you have multiple owners, problems are created in the end. At the end it might be difficult to determine who is the rightful owner of the property.

At the end of the day issues are increasing overtime when it comes to intellectual property rights in the current digital age. The issue that is at hand with this new digital Age is that there is an ever-growing amount of ways of something negative to happen to your IP. Which includes everything from Theft to Mishandling of key information. And Intellectual Property is the backbone of most products, services, and company’s and they need to constantly find new forms of protection in order for them to not lose their rights.

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Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Age. (2019, Feb 20). Retrieved February 28, 2024 , from

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